Pentecost Sunday (Whitsunday)

Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed feast of Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday (for the Easter catechumens who would again wear white at Mass). It’s one of the most important feast days in the Church’s liturgical year (next to Christmas, and Easter). Dr. Mike Foley provides commentary on this grand feast day:

Plenary Indulgence for Pentecost

There is a plenary indulgence today, Pentecost Sunday, to all who pray the Veni Creator – ‘Come Holy Spirit’ under the usual conditions. This will normally be prayed during the Sunday Latin Mass.

Vigil of Pentecost 

While Pentecost is a solemn feast day, the day preceding it also worthy to note – the Vigil of Pentecost. Before 1955, this vigil day featured one of the most beautiful liturgies in the Church. It served as a “bookend” to the Eastertide season and this Mass was much a mirror of the Easter Vigil Mass in many ways. The nearly 3 hour Mass begins with folded chasubles, penitential vestments, a reading of 6 Old Testament prophecies (instead of 12), and baptisms (if there were catechumens). To learn more see our entry from last Pentecost:

Sadly one of the practical challenges of having Traditional Latin Masses in Novus Ordo parishes is that certain vigils such as the Vigil of Pentecost, or even the hauntingly sublime Mass of All Hallows Eve (October 31) often cannot be offered in the afternoons or evenings due to the Novus Ordo “anticipatory Mass” that occurs the evening before holydays or Sundays. Another challenge is the limited familiarity and public recitation of the traditional 1962 breviary (Matins, Lauds, Vespers, etc.) that follows the Traditional Latin Mass and which is different than the Novus Ordo’s Liturgy of the Hours. That is perhaps a topic to cover another time. However, we close this section with Dom Prosper Gueranger’s comments on the Vigil of Pentecost:

The dazzling splendor of tomorrow’s Solemnity forecasts its beauty on this day of its Vigil. The Faithful are preparing themselves by Fasting to celebrate the glorious mystery. But the Mass of the Neophytes, which, formerly, was said during the Night, is now anticipated, as on Easter Eve; so that by today’s Noon, we shall have already begun the praises of the Holy Ghost. The Office of Vespers, in the afternoon, will solemnly open the grand Festival.

Whit Ember Days (This Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday)

As our readers may recall, the Ember Days are the 3 penitential days in the 1962 calendar, occurring at the beginning of each season, that offer thanksgiving and prayers for holiness in the upcoming season.  This week is the Whit Ember Days for the summer season and occurs on the following dates below.  Though the below fasting/partial abstinence days are now voluntary, with all the sin occurring in the world (and in the Church), it may be worth participating in the traditional fasts if you have not done so before.

  • Whit Ember Wednesday – Wednesday May 26 (fasting, partial abstinence), St. Ann, 6pm Low Mass
  • Whit Ember Friday – Friday May 28 (fasting and since its Friday, complete abstinence from meat), St. Ann, 7am Low Mass; St. Mark 12:30pm Low Mass
  • Whit Ember Saturday – Saturday May 29 (fasting, partial abstinence), no diocesan Latin Masses in Charlotte currently scheduled.

The “Whit Ember” days are named after Whit Sunday (“white”), which was an ancient name for Pentecost Sunday and the robes worn by catechumens that day. To learn more about the Whit Ember days visit:

Upcoming Latin Masses

  • Feast of Corpus Christi with Eucharistic Procession – Thursday June 3, 7pm (St. Thomas Aquinas parish): The Thursday after Trinity Sunday is the traditional feast of Corpus Christi. St. Thomas Aquinas will offer a High Mass with chant and polyphony, followed by a Eucharistic Procession. It is always a blessing have the Eucharistic Procession on the actual feast day.  We will post any other Corpus Christi Masses as they are announced.
  • Feast of the Sacred Heart – Friday June 11, 7pm (St. Ann parish): St. Ann parish will offer its annual orchestral Latin Mass with the Carolina Catholic Chorale for this sublime feast day (Friday June 11 at 7pm).
  • Feasts of Ss. Peter and Paul – Tuesday June 29, 7pm (Cathedral of St. Patrick): The Cathedral of St. Patrick will offer its annual Traditional Latin Mass on the great feast of Ss. Peter & Paul on Tuesday June 29 at 7pm. It will be with the Cathedral Choir and feature Missa Brevis in E minor by Carl Heinrich Biber.

Art work of the Ascension

Last Sunday, Fr. Reid preached on how sacred art (as many know, a topic dear to his heart) can teach us about the mystery of the Ascension. The first paintings of this mystery started in the early 5th Century (~400 AD) – and since that time all Ascension painting follows the same template. The Ascension template feature two zones of composition: An upper heavenly zone (Christ rising up to heaven), and a finite/lower earthly zone that depicts various members of the Church. Father recommended two paintings specifically that demonstrate this mystery clearly:

Latin Mass & Traditional News

On the Marian Nature of the Extraordinary Form by Fr. Matthew MacDonald: An interesting article on how the Traditional Latin Mass, through its silence, kneeling, etc. fosters the same receptivity that Our Blessed mother had and can help the faithful grow in holiness:

The Eastertide Collects in the Post-Vatican II Missal: A Problematic Reform: Occasionally, debates over the differences between the Novus Ordo and Traditional Latin Masses occur at a vague level, where generalizations are made without supporting documentation.  Understandably so, but it does help to provide that information when it presents itself. In an article on Rorate Caeli we find that opportunity.  Dr. Peter Kwasniewski and Dr. Lauren Pristas examine how few of the Eastertide Collects of the Traditional Latin Mass were actually used for the Eastertide Collects in the Novus Ordo and instead many Novus Ordo collects were simply created (out of thin air?) with little or no connection to liturgical tradition. The scholars go through both the 1962 (TLM) and 2008 (NO) Missals to give a comparative analysis. It’s lengthy but a good “deep dive” for those wanting to take a closer examination:

How Can the Latin Mass Be Enchanting? – by Kelly Henson: Lastly, we wanted to share an superb column featured in this Friday’s edition of the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic News Herald. Ms. Henson, who has started to attend the Traditional Latin Mass at Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro, wrote about her experience and how she became “enchanted” with the Mass of Ages. Her quote magnificently sums up what many of us have encountered:

After several month of attending Latin Mass, I no longer felt like a disconnected member of an audience watching an intricate and foreign ritual. The Latin words became familiar. Each shift in the chant became a harbinger of a new liturgical season and mood. Most importantly, I felt that with fewer demands on my outward participation, I could readily weave in and out of personal conversation with Jesus as the movement of the Mass carried my heart along its currents. The height of prayer is contemplation, and the atmosphere of a Latin Mass makes room for that quiet, personal gaze between us and Christ to exist.

With that profound quote, we ask: What Mass are you attending on Sundays?